Robert McLeod (’62), one of the finest athletes in Abilene Christian University history, died July 6, 2019, in Houston, Texas, at age 80. A private memorial service for his family will be held at a later date.
McLeod was born Nov. 10, 1938, in Merkel, Texas, graduating from high school there in 1959 after a standout athletic career in football, basketball, track and field, and baseball. He earned a B.S.Ed. degree from ACU before beginning a successful investment career in real estate and in breeding cutting horses, and was a longtime resident of Brenham, Texas.
He was a record-setting tight end in football for ACU with All-America honors, and in basketball he was named NCAA college division all-region and set the Wildcat record for career scoring with 1,607 points.
His ACU receiving records in football include pass receptions and touchdown passes in one game, and career yards (1,046).
He was named outstanding lineman in two postseason all-star games – the All-America Bowl and Copper Bowl – and was drafted by the NFL’s Chicago Bears and AFL’s Houston Oilers.
In basketball, he set 19 Abilene Christian records, including marks for points (43) and rebounds (23) in one game, and rebounds in a season (368) and career (1,237). He signed a rookie pro football contract with the Oilers while still dressed in a basketball uniform following his final collegiate game in Wichita Falls against Midwestern State.
He went on to help Houston win the 1961 AFL title in the first of his six seasons with the team, and played in the league’s Pro Bowl as a rookie. McLeod was named to ACU’s Team of the Century in both basketball and football, and was inducted to the university’s Sports Hall of Fame in November 1989.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Opal Omega Yoakum McLeod, and a brother, Garth McLeod.
Among survivors are his wife, Judy (Bibb ’63) McLeod; daughters Edie (McLeod ’87) McWilliams and husband Marty (’85), Katy (McLeod ’88) Pugh and husband Kenny, and Ellie (McLeod) Ferguson and husband Tommy; a brother, Jerry McLeod; sisters Sue (McLeod) Tucker, and Jan (McLeod) Rivera and husband Ray; and grandchildren Caitlin McWilliam, Capt. (ret.) Harrison McWilliams and wife Kendal, Anna Pugh, Abby Pugh, Emma Mahon, Halle Mahon and Aidan Mahon.
— Ron Hadfield
July 7, 2019